Prolific jazz drummer and composer Gerry Hemingway comes to town for a solo set and a chat | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Prolific jazz drummer and composer Gerry Hemingway comes to town for a solo set and a chat 

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click to enlarge Gerry Hemingway

Gerry Hemingway

courtesy the artist

If Gerry Hemingway had retired from music in 1994, at the end of his 11-year-long tenure as the drummer with Anthony Braxton’s quartet, he would have been assured a lasting place in the annals of jazz and improvised music. But his contributions to that combo—which used its preternatural rapport to realize Braxton’s concept of superimposing and alternating between multiple compositions in real time—turned out to be an early chapter in a long career that has encompassed diligent explorations of lyrically expressive jazz, rigorously cohesive free improvisation, and empathetic pairings of his acoustic percussion and electronic sounds with theatrical and video works. Hemingway’s 2014 CD/DVD release, Kernelings (Auricle), is the most recent document of a solo practice that began 40 years earlier when he was a student of Wadada Leo Smith. Whether articulating intricate, rapidly changing rhythmic patterns or charting the transformations that electronics can visit upon isolated beats, Hemingway’s performances use a scientifically rigorous understanding of acoustic essentials to extract poetry from sound. For this concert, which is part of the Experimental Sound Studio’s Option series, Hemingway will play a solo set and then sit down to talk about it with local percussionist Tim Daisy.   v

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